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  • Writer's pictureEric Frank

What is a HOA?

Updated: Jun 17

Understanding Homeowners Associations (HOAs): What You Need to Know

Homeowners Associations, commonly abbreviated as HOAs, are organizations formed within residential communities to establish and enforce rules and regulations aimed at maintaining property values and preserving the overall aesthetic and functionality of the neighborhood. These associations are typically found in planned communities, condominiums, and some townhouse developments.

Purpose and Functions:

The primary purpose of an HOA is to govern the community by creating and enforcing rules known as covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs). These rules can cover a wide range of issues such as architectural guidelines, landscaping requirements, parking regulations, noise restrictions, and even rules about the display of certain decorations or flags.

Membership and Governance:

Membership in an HOA is usually mandatory for homeowners within the community, and they are required to pay regular fees or assessments to fund the association's operations and maintenance of common areas. HOAs are typically managed by a board of directors elected by the homeowners. The board is responsible for making decisions on behalf of the community, enforcing the CC&Rs, and overseeing the financial aspects of the association.

Benefits and Challenges:

HOAs offer several benefits to homeowners, such as maintaining property values through consistent standards and amenities, resolving disputes between neighbors, and organizing community events. However, they also come with certain challenges. Some homeowners may find the strict rules and regulations restrictive, while others may face conflicts with the HOA board or disagreements over fees and assessments.

Legal Authority:

HOAs derive their authority from legal documents such as the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs) and the association's bylaws. These documents outline the powers and responsibilities of the HOA, as well as the rights and obligations of homeowners. Violations of HOA rules can result in fines, liens on the property, or even legal action.


In conclusion, homeowners associations play a crucial role in maintaining the quality of life and property values in residential communities. While they provide benefits such as community amenities and dispute resolution, homeowners should carefully review HOA rules and regulations before purchasing a property within an HOA-governed community to ensure compatibility with their lifestyle and preferences.

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